Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Scott Mosenthal - Newtown - beautiful letter

Expand Messages
  • Catherine Johnson
    Hi everyone - I ve just this moment read Scott s letter, which had been sitting open on my desktop, and I m posting now. My own way of coping with Newtown has
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 19, 2012

    Hi everyone - 

    I've just this moment read Scott's letter, which had been sitting open on my desktop, and I'm posting now. 

    My own way of coping with Newtown has been to delve into the research and literature on "targeted school violence" (I realized that's not everyone's way, but it's mine). And because I've been reading that literature, I know that Scott is not only 'on point' emotionally, he is on point in terms of the research and the reality, too. 

    It is a beautiful letter.

    Catherine


    Dear Parents,

    I thought it would be a good idea to touch base with you about the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT, and measures we have in place to deal with issues of security and support.

    First, I announced today (and asked teachers to reiterate) that should any student feel the need to speak to an adult about the incident, our counselors are available to meet at any point. Also, please let us know if, on your end, you think we should check in with your student to hear any concerns. I am meeting with the faculty today to “take a pulse” about how the day went and to remind them to keep an eye out for anything or anyone that might need a closer look.

    Finally, please know that we have in place emergency procedures which we have practiced in the past and will continue to do so. These include lockdowns and evacuations, and we will be holding more drills in the future. As with each such drill, I will meet afterwards with our Emergency Response team (along with the Middle School’s team and members of the Irvington Police Department, who attend each drill) to debrief the exercise.

    For further access to resources in regards to dealing with tragedies such as this, please check http://usny.nysed.gov/newtown-ct-tragedy.html as materials will be posted on an ongoing basis.

    As I mentioned over the PA today, we will probably never know what caused the shooter to take the lives of innocent children and their teachers. But I do know that the better we are at creating a sense of community (and I’m talking not only about our school sense of community, but a sense of community on a much larger scale)—the better we will be at reaching out to those who are struggling, to accepting and appreciating those who might be different, to acknowledge and celebrate those around us who we love and who love us—the more likely these types of events can be prevented.

    As always, please contact me should you have any questions or concerns.

    Sincerely,

    Scott Mosenthal

  • David Hochheiser
    Hi Catherine -  I truthfully had intended to write to this group about this issue, but it s been a long week.  I won t bother with my personal feelings -
    Message 2 of 3 , Dec 20, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Catherine - 

      I truthfully had intended to write to this group about this issue, but it's been a long week.  I won't bother with my personal feelings - parental, professional, political or academic - but I do hope to find multiple ways of complimenting the district on how smoothly things at Dows felt.  We got really calming, heartfelt letters from Randy L and both of my kids' teachers about the atmosphere of supported normalcy that they all felt best as an approach in Newtown's aftermath.  Clearly, their experience tells us that living in a small, tight-knit community is an answer to life's struggles, but I have been very happy this week to know that our principal and faculty know exactly who my family is and how important all of our children are. 

      I hope you and all of the people on this forum enjoy a great set of holidays this year.  

      -Dave Hochheiser
    • Catherine
      Hi David - Do you still have copies we can post? I can ask Randy L myself if not. I think the whole community should see our school letters. I think it would
      Message 3 of 3 , Dec 20, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi David -

        Do you still have copies we can post?

        I can ask Randy L myself if not.

        I think the whole community should see our school letters. I think it would help.

        The Fordham Prep letter is beautiful, by the way. It is essentially the Christian version of Scott's secular letter. I started crying as soon as I read the first line, which said that 28 people had died violently Friday morning. Not 27 people, not 26. 28.

        I don't know whether people caught it, but Scott as much as said the same thing, and he said it with immense subtlety, kindness, and tact.

        I think I'll post the Fordham letter later on.

        And, yes, wishing all a good holiday ---- !

        Catherine

        Quick note: Scott is reading the various Secret Service reports and will share with high school staff.

        He already 'knows' what's in the reports, though. His letter is pretty much exactly the letter you would write on the basis of the Secret Service analysis. Even so, I'm certain he'll find the reports helpful, clarifying, and at least somewhat heartening.

        It appears that there are perhaps 4 major reports on 'targeted school violence': 3 from Secret Service/Department of Education and 1 from the National Research Council. I've read one closely and plan to get to the others as well. After the holidays are over, I'll post the salient findings as I learn them.

        So far, though, I can say that I've been surprised -- and somewhat encouraged -- by what I've learned. A number of my assumptions and stereotypes were wrong, and "threat assessment" and prevention do seem to be possible. More than possible.

        Scott is exactly where he needs to be on the psychology involved, and that is very important.


        --- In irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com, David Hochheiser <dhochheiser@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Catherine - 
        >
        > I truthfully had intended to write to this group about this issue, but it's been a long week.  I won't bother with my personal feelings - parental, professional, political or academic - but I do hope to find multiple ways of complimenting the district on how smoothly things at Dows felt.  We got really calming, heartfelt letters from Randy L and both of my kids' teachers about the atmosphere of supported normalcy that they all felt best as an approach in Newtown's aftermath.  Clearly, their experience tells us that living in a small, tight-knit community is an answer to life's struggles, but I have been very happy this week to know that our principal and faculty know exactly who my family is and how important all of our children are. 
        >
        > I hope you and all of the people on this forum enjoy a great set of holidays this year.  
        >
        > -Dave Hochheiser
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.